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A Boost for Hair Color Protection Formulas
Posted: October 7, 2008
During the period June 2006–2007, more than 170 products claiming color protection were launched around the world. The vast majority of these products come in the form of shampoo and conditioners. Surprisingly, few of the new products exist as leave-on systems. Leave-on systems allow formulators to include functional ingredients like cationic film forming polymers that bind with negatively charged amino acids on the surface of hair. These types of film-forming polymers can be found primarily in hair styling gel and mousse formulations designed for hair hold but they can also be used in personal care applications where a need exists to form a protective barrier on the hair cuticle. Formulators of high end sunscreen products, for example, typically include acrylic based film forming polymers in the formulation as a strategy to maintain the active on skin in the presence of water. This protective barrier phenomenon can be strongly applied to products claiming hair color protection. The film formed on the hair is believed to protect hair color from losing its vibrancy as a result of excess washing.
A Look at Hair Color Protection Strategies
Consumer product makers employ a variety of formulation strategies to address the needs of people who have recently colored their hair. Rinse-off products typically contain ingredients that emphasize the benefits of moisture retention and UV filters. Leave-on products, on the other hand, emphasize ingredients that serve to seal hair. Both formulation strategies address consumers who want to maintain the vitality of natural looking hair following hair color treatment. Naturally, consumers have a strong interest in adopting a hair care regimen that can extend the color vibrancy of hair, yet color fading and the loss of color vibrancy typically comes with everyday cleansing.
Formulations focused primarily on the avoidance of hair color degradation as a result of cleansing will serve consumers who want to extend the duration of rich, brilliant hair color. So, what does the ideal product formulation look like in this area? What set of products may be available to address consumer needs in accordance with daily cleansing routines?
In looking at the product labels of hair color protection products, it is apparent that many formulations rely substantially on polyquaternium compounds or silicone-containing dispersions as the functional ingredient. It is known that two product forms, rinse-off and leave-on, can be used to deliver these functional ingredients. However, the optimum product form and functional ingredients that work best in extending the color vibrancy of hair have not been explored. To better understand this, AkzoNobel Personal Care developed a qualitative method for evaluating hair color vibrancy and retention using a trained panel of 8 people. The panel was asked to evaluate color vibrancy based on an anchor system of control swatches. The control swatches were all from the same dye lot and were washed a different number of times. The control palette can be seen in Figure 1. Treatment of the sample swatches is described in Table 1. These experimental swatches were then rated according to the control palette.
Figure. 1: Red Hair after 0, 3, 5, 9 and 15 Shampoo Washes